Wild Horses in Federal Spending Bill

Some progress has been made on behalf of wild horses and burros, but many protections are still lacking causing more suffering for the wild ones.

Congress has released its Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations omnibus spending bill and it includes funding for humane immunocontraceptive fertility control for the BLM’s wild horse and burro program.

Once passed, the appropriations bill will ensure that up to $11 million of the BLM’s budget must be allocated to humane immunocontraceptive fertility control treatment and research.

Unfortunately, the bill provides an increase in overall funding for roundups and removal, about $21 million more than the FY21 funding. However, this increase was still less than what was initially proposed for FY22 funding of the wild horse and burro program.

In spite of scientific evidence, America’s wild horses and burros continue to be the scapegoats for public land degradation and climate change. Meanwhile research clearly shows that commercial livestock grazing is the actual environmental threat to public lands.

The federal spending bill also calls for the creation of an interagency task force to deal with the “crisis” of growing wild horse populations. This task force will need close monitoring by wild horse advocates as it can easily be filled with pro livestock, pro special interest members.

The federal bill retains long-standing anti-slaughter provisions to prevent horse slaughter plants from operating in the U.S. and to prohibit the slaughter of federally protected wild horses and burros through the end of the fiscal year.